Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Livingstone Council calls for ‘fair go’ in border battle

Livingstone Shire Council Mayor, Adam Belot, has presented a notice of motion at a Special Council Meeting today calling for a commitment to fairness as Queensland’s Local Change Commission reviews a proposal to transfer the LGA’s northern suburbs to Rockhampton Regional Council.

The motion calls on Acting Premier, Steven Miles; Queensland Treasurer, Cameron Dick and Member for Keppel, Brittany Lauga to confirm the Queensland’s Government’s commitment to fairness in the boundary review between Livingstone and Rockhampton by ensuring residents will not go backwards financially in any outcome related to this process, the Mayor said.

The Commission is currently reviewing a proposal to transfer the northern suburbs of Glenlee, Glendale and Rockyview from Livingstone to Rockhampton Regional Council.

“We are also calling on the Deputy Premier to confirm the origin and basis for the ‘agreement’ of both Livingstone and Rockhampton to embark on the current boundary review process – as our records only show agreement to the Terms of Reference for the review,” Mayor Belot said.

“Rockhampton Regional Council claims that transferring the three suburbs is fairer for all, and that may be right for the balance of RRC residents. However, it’s certainly not fair for the majority of Livingstone ratepayers, who under the Queensland Treasury Corporation’s own figures, would be out of pocket up to $250 per year if the move goes ahead.

“It’s not fair Deputy Premier, not fair Premier Palaszczuk, simply not fair Member for Keppel!

“The Queensland Government must ensure this boundary review is fair. Whatever the outcome, the Livingstone community deserves a genuine, fair go.”

In response to today’s notice of motion, Rockhampton Mayor, Tony Williams accused the neighbouring council of trying to “rewrite history”.

“The Local Government Minister’s original referral in January 2019 clearly references the agreement between both Councils in June 2018. This letter is publicly available on the Electoral Commission of Queensland website,” said Mayor Williams

“Over the past months we have seen them call for the process to be stopped, the vote to be stopped and now this. People will see this for what it is – just another attempt to try and influence an independent, democratic process.

“Their other attempt to influence the negotiations which would have to occur between the two Councils if the transfer is to go ahead is again trying to influence this independent process.”

Mayor Williams said the Queensland Treasury Corporation had made it clear in their assessment that terms and conditions of any transfer would need to be finalised between the two Councils.

“We have tried already by making a very fair offer of 50% of rates and other charges over 10 years of Glendale, Glenlee and Rockyview and it was rejected ‘out of hand’ to quote Livingstone Shire Council.”

“The public vote is due to close next Thursday 14th July so for those who haven’t voted yet, please get your postal ballot in the mailbox as soon as you can so you don’t miss out on your chance to have your say,” Mayor Williams said.

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